Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana, FIEL network, in Spanish, Mar. 4, 1961, 2300 GMT--E

(Summary)  It is just a year since the holocaust that killed so many Cuban
workers and soldiers.  As the people gather this afternoon they are
fulfilling a duty of affectionate memory to all those who gave their lives
for their people.  They did not fall in battle, but one can die for the
fatherland in other ways than in battle.  They were at work, working for
the country.  They were working to contribute to the defense of their
people.  Those workers and soldiers were unloading the first weapons that
came to our country to defend the revolution and the integrity and
sovereignty of our nation.

We had understood the need to prepare ourselves and have the necessary
weapons to meet aggression, to defend ourselves, to defend the rights of
our people, the integrity and wealth of the nation and the lives of our
citizens.  That bothered the enemy which wanted us to be an unarmed and
defenseless country.  The revolution had to defend itself for no revolution
is carried out without a struggle, without powerful enemies within and
without.  No revolution can liquidate the interests which exploited the
country without a fight, without being ready to resist the enemy attack.

The basic enemies of the revolution were not national enemies, but foreign
enemies.  They were symbolized by those monopolies which exploited docks,
power companies, mines, land, and the bulk of our resources and industries.

Three or four years ago a ceremony like this would have been assembled here
a plague of cheap politicians and mercenary characters coming to the
ceremonies for what they could get out of it.  There were no such honorable
men as are on this stand today.  There would have been a bunch of robbers
of the public treasury, a handful of magnates and landowners who had become
senators or representatives; there would not have been men who work
tirelessly day after day, month after month, year after year, enjoying the
people's confidence in their absolutely honest handling of public funds.
These men are devoted to a single idea:  work, duty, service to the cause.

In former years, there would have been assembled here the crooked labor
bosses; and a handful of FBI agents; and a few more myrmidons with or
without cassocks.  There would not have been here distinguished
representatives of world labor organizations, as there are today, nor
intellectuals of Latin America like the ones present this afternoon.

The weapons would not be in the hands of men of the people who know why
they are here.  The weapons would be in the hands of criminals and bullies.
What would we see around us?  We would see docks belonging to various U.S.
companies.  We would see merchantmen in the hands of big industrial
magnates.  The electric company would not be a Cuban plant.  The people
would not have anything.  Yesterday the people did not have docks or
warehouses or trains or power plants.

Cuban Revolution Defined

To understand what a revolution is, just ask to whom everything belonged to
yesterday, and to whom it belongs to today.  That gives a practical lesson
of what revolution is.  Just look anywhere in the country.  Everything,
absolutely everything shows what revolution is, from the rifle held by a
man of the people to the most modern factories, from the land to industry,
transportation, natural resources and the economy, without counting what
did not exist yesterday and does exist today; without counting the
thousands of schools and the multitude of new books with which to instruct
the people; without counting that hardly a barracks has not become a
school; without counting that by the end of this year we can proclaim that
here everybody and read and write.  When we see anywhere in Cuba that there
is not a single illiterate we realize what the revolution is.

That is the big difference between yesterday and today.  But the revolution
is not alone achievements already with us.  To understand a revolution one
must also know the price that must be paid for it.  We have spoken of what
we have.  We must also speak constantly, for who knows how long, of the
price of blood and mourning, because of those who cannot calmly see this
great change in our country, from the yesterday when the people were just
human beasts to the today when the people are the owners.

When La Coubre blew up with the great casualty list that ensued, from
criminal sabotage, our enemies were showing the price they were prepared to
demand of us.  They were also showing us that no matter how high the price
of the revolution, the price would be much higher if our revolution was
defeated.  They were showing us that the 200,000 victims would be few
compared to the victims they would demand of our people if once the former
days could be brought back.

Militia Coalesced

The La Coubre holocaust did not intimidate anybody.  That great sacrifice
should have been a warning to the enemies of our people and have made clear
to them they were butting their heads against a wall, that the course they
had taken would not weaken the revolution.  The next day the people marched
behind the coffins of the murdered workers.  The unarmed militia, who went
to rescue the victims immediately after the accident, became the formidable
armed, organized, trained units we have today.  If imperialism thought is
would weaken the people, the difference between the day of the explosion
and today is significant enough.  The difference is one of additional
thousands of tons, of arms.  And they are weapons the people know how to
handle today.

Hardly two weeks had passed when once again another ship from the same
country with similar weapons entered the port of Havana and thousands of
workers offered to unload them.  (Applause)  The weapons came from a
country virtually controlled by imperialists.  A few weeks later they
canceled further shipments for which contacts had been signed.  But other
ships came to inspire the confidence of the workers.

Since that time many ships have come.  Since that time many weapons have
come.  The ships did not explode.  Undoubtedly that explosion had been
plotted abroad, undoubtedly the infernal machine was set as the ship was
loaded and no one was unaware who organized the sabotage.  The ship was
manned by selected personnel.  The sabotage could only have been prepared
abroad.  The imperialist government of the United States was the principle
nation interested in not having the weapons reach Cuba.  The U.S.
Government had used pressure to keep the weapons away from Cuba.  But such
machinations failed.  At times the imperialists take liberties.  The
Belgian Government, allied with imperialism for economic reasons because it
had to sell industrial products, resisted Yankee pressure and sent the

CIA Involved

"Since the Central Intelligence Agency spends a billion dollars in
maintaining an army of spies and agents throughout the world, it was
logical that it should find many agents in Belgium, particularly in Belgium
which is ruled by colonialists."

The most elementary reasoning led us to such conclusions.  "Today, after a
year of experience, not that we know of the activities of this Central
Intelligence Agency with regard to our country; after the experience of a
year fighting against this Yankee Central Intelligence Agency and following
the experiences the world has had during this past year, we have the right
to say that we are convinced that the imperialist government of the United
States is the assassin of our workers and soldiers."

There are very few skeptics in the world regarding what imperialists are
capable of.  It is possible that at the time of the ship explosion there
were some who wondered:  Is it possible?  Who could have thought then that
even more absurd things were possible than that criminal sabotage which
cost the lives of so many of our brothers?

Who would have thought it possible at that time that a small country of
Africa which had obtained independence was going to be attacked by forces
from the homeland; that that country was going to ask aid and protection
from the United Nations which was created precisely to preserve peace and
to protect nations against aggression; that that organization would send
troops to that small country, and that by virtue of imperialist maneuvers
those troops, instead of protecting the Congolese against the Belgian
soldiers, would go there to promote division within that small nation to
promote a coup, to economically subject the secessionists; and that before
a year was up the leader of that small country of Africa, which had asked
the U.N. for aid, not only was not going to get protection, but those who
were called to aid him caused a coup and his overthrow and imprisonment and
sponsored his assassination.

It is absurd and impossible, skeptics would have said.  They would not have
believed that such things could happen.  They would have thought it
impossible, but the facts are there, too bloody, too crude, too painful to
human sensibilities.  No one can doubt what the reactionaries forces can
do.  In our own country, the skeptics--the few remaining ones00have seen
what the reactionaries can do in the world.

"Here we have constant examples of it.  Our country is being subjected to
incessant harassment, under conditions of an undeclared war, by the Yankee
Central Intelligence Agency, which, by flagrant interference in the
internal affairs of our country, has never ceased to provoke and create all
sorts of problems, crimes, sabotage, and subversive activities against the
Cuban nation.

"It is a really shameful fact--where that they and those sold out to them
capable of feeling shame--that at present it is precisely the Yankee
Central Intelligence Agency, that is, it is Yankee agents who are
manipulating all the strings of subversion, all the strings for supplying
the arms and explosives with which they are attempting to create
counterrevolutionary groups which they have used for assassinations and
such savagely terroristic activities as the explosion of a powerful bomb in
a school or in a hall filled with pupils."

Territory Violated

Openly and unabashedly they are organizing training camps; openly and
unabashedly they are building air bases and air strips.  Everyone knows who
is building the strips and buying planes, that mercenaries are recruiting
troops.  They even have the cynicism to publish photographs.

Cuba is not located in Africa or on the planet Mars; Cuba is in this
hemisphere.  Our air space is being violated constantly by planes which do
not come from Venus, Africa, or the South Pole, but from this continent.
As proof we need only remember that while there is talk of security, our
country is kept under constant watch by planes based on this continent,
from the United States to Guatemala.  Without respect for international
law, not only are they openly recruiting weapons but they constantly
violate our air space, our jurisdictional waters.  With planes and ships
they bring explosives here which cost the lives of children, women, and
workers, cruelly killed with no other goal than to soften our people.  That
is the word they use.

With terrorism and bombs they have killed women and children, they have
cowardly attacked workers when they leave work, thus they are trying to
create counterrevolutionary bands.

What is really offensive to our country and a flagrant violation of
international law is that all these activities are directly manipulated and
directed from the United States by Central Intelligence Agency agents.
That is to say, from there are manipulated the strings of all the
conspiracies which kill children and workers, and which cruelly and
inhumanely blind lives.  It is truly painful that the puppets who are
playing into their hands are unaware of the strategy of the Central
Intelligence Agency."

No one believes for a second that any of those gentlemen who appear as
counterrevolutionary leaders are capable of handling the military activity.
Every counterrevolutionary activity against us is led by the United States.
Not a single ship, plane or soldier is moved without their orders.  One of
the things they tried was to train counterrevolutionary bands.  Taking
advantage of complicity of counterrevolutionary elements in the mountain
area they started promoting counterrevolutionary bands in those areas.

Let Rebels be Slaughtered

At certain times, taking advantage of the threat of direct aggression, the
counterrevolutionary groups gathered as many as 400 to 500 men.  They hoped
that marines would land and help them.  Meanwhile, abroad, more "worms"
(counterrevolutionaries--Ed.) were being trained and armed.  How were we to
liquidate these groups?  A systematic operation was necessary and the
effectives were mobilized to mop up.  Those abroad knew that the "worms"
here were surrounded and that they were being annihilated piece meal.  The
"worms" here hoped for reinforcements from Miami where they are trained by
Yankee officers.  They thought of making a radio campaign; they dropped
arms by parachute, all of which fell into our hand.

We feel that anything that goes on must be told to the people.  Everything
has been going well but we have not given reports thus far so as not to let
the enemy become aware of the real situation.  We have been discreet about
the course of events so as not to inform the enemy and if possible lead him
to make a mistake.

It was to be hoped that they would try to reinforce the
counterrevolutionaries here.  They were obliged to reinforce these bands
here.  If they had training mercenaries for months they could not abandon
them because if they did, what "worm" would return to the mountains?

"It was logical to suppose that those who had embarked on this adventure
should think that they had been criminally led to do so.  Moreover, what
were the instructions given to them by the Central Intelligence Agency, or
by the group of marionette leaders they have there?  Would they reinforce
them, as was their duty?  No.  The instructions given to them were to rise
up in groups in these provinces in such a tactical manner as to help in the
landing of other elements.

Most of the groups were seized by us.  Others tried to make trouble in Las
Villas but in a few hours G-2 comrades forces them to give up.  Some had
planned to stir up trouble in Pinar del Rio.  But they have been unable to
more.  Why were the mercenaries not sent?  How could the small groups here
hope to face our battalions?  What sort of tactics is this?  Could we
permit two companies of militiamen to be surrounded and not send help to
them?  It is the duty of the enemy to support those units which are in
danger in order to maintain the morale of the group.

"If the Central Intelligence Agency and its accomplices made a mistake and
prematurely ordered those counterrevolutionary bands to move, they were
obliged to support and reinforce them.  What really is absurd, however, is
that what they have done under the circumstances is to order the formation
of hew bands while they have had thousands of mercenaries trained and armed
for months now."

Arms Furnished Batista

In talking with one of these counterrevolutionaries we reminded him what we
had done when we fought the revolution.  We told him that we did not have a
single plane or ship and that the counterrevolutionaries have them.  We did
not have any automatic weapons; the counterrevolutionaries have them.  We
had nothing and could not hope for help.  The Yankees sent Batista weapons
but none to us.  We could not hope for reinforcements, yet we believed in
the soundness of our tactics.

"How can the counterrevolutionary leaders and those of the Central
Intelligence Agency justify the fact that they ordered the
counterrevolutionary bands to do something and then abandoned them, allowed
them to be exterminated when they have (several words indistinct) in camps
in Miami and Guatemala?  And if they do not feel strong enough, in spite of
the fact that there are several thousands of them, to face our combat
units, how do they justify the orders they give to groups of 40 and 50 men
to face us?  Is it not evident that they are acting with unbounded
impudence?  It is not evident that they are subjecting their own people to
systematic extermination?  Why did the mercenaries not disembark?  How long
are they going to wait before they try a landing?  Are they going to wait
until they do not have a single one left?  Why? Their bands are being
destroyed.  In a few days we are going to inform you about the number of
counterrevolutionaries seized and killed in the Escambray."  (Applause,

Why did they let their bands be wiped out without reinforcing them?  Why
did they not come?  What were they doing with thousands of trained men on
foreign bases, doing nothing, while we were wiping out their men here?
What will they tell people now to get them to enter into an adventure?
What were they waiting for?  The only argument is that they were not
sufficiently trained.  Here we train our men in a month more than they do
in four.  The reasons they have had for not coming now will be much more in
a few more months.  In a shameless, cowardly fashion they have demoralized
their own forces by getting them into a desperate situation and not sending
a single man to reinforce them.

Tony Varona is supposed to be a genius; Justo Carrillo another, and all the
counterrevolutionary leaders; Masferrer and Ventura are supposed to be
shining lights of the human species, worth being preserved like treasures.
But when these geniuses take the job of redeemers, they lack the know-how
of conquerors like Alexander, Napoleon, and so on who led their own
campaigns.  We don't know of any of them who kept the bulk of the army
intact while scanty advance guards were destroyed.  If the present group
are really outstanding heroes, they must do like Napoleon and the others.
They should send their men to fight.  What is this keeping their men in
camps 1000 kilometers from here?

Would Welcome Dulles' Heroes

"If they have had their pictures taken in those khaki uniforms, it is our
most fervent wish, and we extend the kindest,most courteous invitation to
this group of distinguished, brilliant strategists, warriors, and heroes to
come, on a short of military parade and inspired by the muses of Allen
Dulles, to carry out a marvelous military parade through our country, for
we are desirous of a visit from such illustrious warriors.  Our country is
excited at the thought of seeing, on a white house, the disciples of
Hannibal, Alexander, and Napoleon."

We have never had a change to see such a spectacle.  We did not have a
single plane, but we came.  We did not have automatic weapons, but we came.
We even said when we would be coming.  That shows it is not so difficult
and that what we did could be done by the illustrious heroes in Guatemala.
What our group of young men could do, without planes or ships or automatic
weapons or millions of dollars or support, can certainly be done by them,
and so there is no excuse for them.  Let them not speak of useless
sacrifice.  Useless sacrifice is the sacrifice of those they did send here.
We feel sure the mercenaries themselves agree that those gentlemen should
come along with them.

A jet plane piloted by Lt. Del Pino brought down a two-engine pirate plane
north of Baracoa.  This happens any time.  Planes are constantly violating
our territory.  We have strengthened ourselves primarily on the ground.
Now we will strengthen ourselves in other branches, and the time will come
when they will not be able even to show their noses in our neighborhood.
They have been flying in low by night dripping packages, and nobody could
tell when they might begin dropping bombs.  (Voice from crowd:  We're not

It irritates them that no one here is afraid.  While they keep on
harassing us and violating our territory and training
counterrevolutionaries we are going to use any weapon necessary.

"Afterwards, let the distinguished Mr. Berle, or whatever they call him,
not come and say that this Cuban problem is not a unilateral problem with
the United States, but a problem for the whole hemisphere, as if the
hemisphere had anything to do with the monopolies, as if the hemisphere had
anything to do with the constant pillaging of Latin American peoples by the
monopolies, as if the hemisphere was to blame for the hunger that exists in
Latin America, the underdevelopment, lack of culture and illiteracy.

Extraordinary Kennedy Theory

"And now that man (unnamed but seemingly referring to President Kennedy in
view of statements which follow--Ed.) has invented an extraordinary theory.

How intelligent!  I find myself obliged to correct him.  What an
intelligent man!  What a shining light guides the destiny of the United
States!  He has come up with the concept that the Cuban problem is no
longer a problem of the United States with Cuba, but of the hemisphere with
Cuba.  But as far as we know, Latin America did not have a single monopoly
here, not a single big landholding, not a single electric company, not a
single ship, dock, bank, mine, or sugarmill.

"As far as we know, we had problems only with the U.S. monopolies, and
nobody else, for not even by change was there a monopoly here or a factory
or a sugarmill belonging to Latin America.  It was the Yankee government
that took away our quota.  The economic aggression has come from there, and
they are the ones involved in all this web of plotting, terrorism, pirate
planes, mercenary camps, and open and (concealed?) harassment.

"Ah, but they do not want to sit down and talk.  Cuba has said it wants to
talk and has brought this matter up in all foreign ministries and in the
United Nations.  Why do they not want to sit down and talk?  Because that
would make them break step.  Cuba wants to talk and they do not want to
because they have high hopes pinned on those extraordinary strategists and
that formidable army, that invincible legion being trained in Guatemala and
other countries.

"They have high hopes pinned on that, and they have come up with a
wonderful theory, that the problem with us is not unilateral with the
United States but involves the entire hemisphere.  So we say:  "Talk."
They know they cannot talk, because if they sit down and talk all the
maneuvers and intrigue and illusions will be done for.  The problems of
frictions in Latin America could perfectly well be solved.

Talk as Equals

"Let us sit down and talk.  Let us look at our rights.  What rights do you
believe you have?  We have a right to this and that, the quota, markets.
We are going to talk only as equals, as friend to friend, and in no other
way.  We are two sovereign nations, two neighbors in this hemisphere, and
we can live in peace and we want to live in peace,and we have a right to
live in peace.  But of course, while we both lived here, and the country
folk were eating stones and a U.S. company had 17,000 caballerias of land
here, we could not live in peace.  They even threaten not to sell us some
foods.  But they are not going to defeat us."

"that gentleman who said he was going to start anew has started the old
way.  He is playing the role of a brave man toward Cuba; he is playing the
role of an aggressor against Cuba.  He does not stop to consider the
difference between his position as a ruler of a nation with large economic
and military resources and our small country which is making a worthy,
heroic effort to advance through its own labor, wealth, and resources.

"He does not understand that the greater the difference between the power
of his country and ours, the greater is the moral defeat to which he
subjects himself, the greater the historical ridiculousness to which he
exposes himself.  (Applause)  He has nothing to fear from us:  we do not
threaten the security of his empire, or, rather, his country.  We
constitute no threat for the security of his country and his people.  He,
indeed, represents a threat to our people and our country.  Yet he exposes
himself more than we do because we, for example, are not exposed to moral
defeat but he is.  We are not exposed to ridicule but he is.  We are
exposed to extermination and so is he.  They can try to exterminate us but
surely they also will be exterminated.  (Shouts, applause)

"Would it not be better not to be exterminated?  Would it not be better for
the world to live in peace, that the peoples and nations respect one
another, and that they help each other peacefully?  It this not a better
ideal for humanity and the desire of humanity?  It is our desire.

"Well, now, we have spoken our word; what have we heard?  proud, haughty,
aggressive words which dishonor those who promote a similar policy.  It is
shameful that a ruler who has just come to power should so quickly move
along the road of discredit in order to pursue a policy toward our country
as stupid as that of his predecessor.  (I do not see?) how they are going
to convince Latin America.

"Who is it that serves them unconditionally?  It is the worst regimes, the
most reactionary, the most tyrannical, and the most corrupt.  And yet, what
has happened?  It seems that several Latin American rulers have spoken out
recently; they have spoken clearly.  Do you know why?  Because the word
'fear' has lost its meaning in this continent.  (Sentence indistinct--Ed.)
The people of this continent have lost their fear and the rulers of this
continent have lost their fear.  (Few words indistinct--Ed.)

"They have not betrayed us, they have not frightened us since the day in
which a small country stood its ground firmly and said "no."  They
threatened it and it said:  "I do not care about your threats.'  They
started their economic aggressions and it said 'I do not care about your
economic aggressions.'  They began to organize mercenaries and terrorists
and we told them that we were going to annihilate the mercenaries and the
terrorists.  We have been working while the U.S. Government has been
harassing us; we have been speaking in terms of peace while the U.S.
Government speaks of war and aggression.  We have been talking in terms of
discussion while the U.S. Government says it is a problem for Latin
America, that is, it does not want to talk.  We shall keep on insisting on
these (things?) and we shall continue sending information to Latin America,
the United Nations, the Latin American foreign ministries explaining our

Will Show Captured Weapons

"By the way, we are going to hold an exposition in the capital soon and
display all the weapons we have seized--bazookas, 57-mm. guns, and
automatic weapons, machine guns.

"It would be worth while to ask the U.S.  President a question.  If we
should ask him if he would be inclined to sell us some weapons, he would
say: 'Never.  That would endanger the security of this continent.  That
would endanger the peace of this continent.  This would be a negation of
the democratic, representative, worthy, honorable, and clean policy of the
United States.  Moreover, this would be a betrayal of the sacred principles
we defend.' Does any one doubt that if we should send the U.S.  Government
a request to sell us some little guns, it would say this?  They would say
that U.S. opinion never would agree to such a policy; that it would be
condemned by U.S. public opinion and by public opinion in that 'free'
countries.  They would declare that Trujillo and Somoza say that this is an
aggression against representative democracy and human liberty.

"Not only will they not sell us any arms but they also tell all their
allies not to sell us any.  Yet the fact is that, instead of selling us
these weapons, they have made us a gift of them; they dropped them to us by
parachutes, well-oiled, wrapped up.  If they can not sell them to us, how
can they give them to us as a gift.  Seemingly, a screw is loose in the
direction of U.S. policy because we are going to exhibit here a large
quantity of weapons given as a gift to us in an amiable way.  Yet, could it
be said that the 'free world is in danger; the security of this continent
is endangered; the security of the hemisphere is in danger.'

"After all, what will public opinion in the United States say?  What will
the representative democracies in Spain, Santo Domingo, El Salvador, Peru,
and Nicaragua say?  What will Mobutu, Kasavubu, Tshombe, and Chiang
Kai-shek say?  Certainly the world is doing badly because those who would
never sell us arms in a friendly fashion are making a present of them to us
in an unfriendly way.  These are the facts."

Foreign newspapermen and Latin American ambassadors can come look at the
weapons we have seized and they can decide to whom they belong and who
interferes in affairs of others.  There are none of our weapons scattered
in other countries.

Little by little we have learned.  Little by little we are discovering the
marvels of this world.  Its philosophy can be summed up as follows:  A
revolution in which everything is for the people cannot be defeated.  Our
people have been learning.  They pity those who delude themselves into
thinking of returning to the past or returning to power--they must be
really blind.  For every one of them there are hundreds here who have had
their lives changed.  For every one who lost a piece of land here there are
thousands who have gained.  For every one who lost an apartment, a hundred
here have homes.  For every one of them who lost a job, hundreds here today
have jobs.  They complain about our revolution because it took millions
from one person and made thousands happy.  We are helping illiterates and
the poor.  How shocking!  People starved while they did not miss a single
banquet or canasta party.  It is really too bad that our people today are
unable to read in DIARIO DE LA MARINA and other publications about those
illustrious people and their doings!  The philosophy of these gentlemen is
that this is really a bad country where a man cannot spend 1,000 pesos on
flowers in a single night, and that this revolution has done terrible
things to our country.

Invokes Lenin Dictum

Gentlemen, we must all cut cane.  It is in a great cause.  You get the
feeling that you are doing something.  It is everyone's duty to work.
(Several words indistinct)  Leninist principle of he who does not work
shall not eat.  Work is honorable.  Everybody has a duty of contributing to
the production of goods that are to satisfy our needs.  Most of the
revolution's enemies are among the people who think others should work for

Have the people ever seen the government take over a church?  Have the
people seen any priest arrested?  Do the people believe any priest has ever
plotted?  No priest has been arrested.  We have not done anything against
the priests.  What quarrel do the priests have with us?  They are provoking
a series of incidents.  After they provoke problems they issue pastorals
blaming the government for lack of guarantees.  Of course there are some
very honorable exceptions.  Here are some revolutionary priests.  When
everything here was corrupt, what did the priests do to combat the evils?
They did not worry about all the ills.  There was repugnant exploitation of
the people.  For example, the fund for labor accident compensation was
plundered.  That is just one case but in what way were the people not
exploited?  Our colored fellow citizens were barred from many places.

When did any of those gentlemen take the time to fight discrimination?
They blessed the tyrant.  They blessed the public thieves.  They did not
issue pastorals against them.  The orders who served in hospitals and
tended the sick did work and deserve our respect.

The revolutionary government is the only one which has tried to bring some
happiness to millions of unfortunates; only the revolution has eradicated a
series of evils from our life.  Why do they fight us?  For ideological
reasons?  Did they have no ideological differences with the murders, the
great thieves, the great corrupters of public morals, the exploiters?  We
have combatted those ills yet they say they have ideological differences
with us.  We do not meddle in the religious field.

They can believe what they want to.  But these gentlemen have departed from
serving the interests of the masses.  They have prostituted the essence of
Christianity.  The revolution represents the interests of the masses; they
represented the interests of the dominating class.

Christ Was A Communist

If religion could coexist with the electric companies why not with the
national electric company?  Why can't religion coexist with a system in
accordance with people's dreams?  What do they want?  Do they want the
people to continue living as slaves, discriminated against and exploited?
That is what they want.  That is why they never spoke out against those
evils.  And now they attack the revolution.  They use communism as a
pretext.  Christ was a communist, too.  Would they be against Christ.

Why, in the name of religion, do they attack political views when no one
attacks religion in the name of political ideas?  It is they alone who have
provoked conflict.  Many people here believe in God but very few believe in
the priests.  If a man wants to pray in church he does not need anyone to
preach a counterrevolutionary sermon to him.  But a good priest has no
worries.  I do not believe we can be any clearer.

We are not afraid of war.  We are not against any religious institution.
Anyone who has a just sense of religion will admit we are right.  We are
not living in the Middle Ages today.  The era of obscurantism has passed.

People in Latin America are going to open their eyes.  The poor are not
going to be influenced by sermons.  Those who give them work and land will
be considered good.  The people will think that what we are doing here is

No one will be able to prevent the advance of the revolution.  We shall not
be exterminated.  We are made of the soul, the courage, the heart of the
people.  The people have a single will, a single army, a single strength.
They know they are a great and invincible force.

Soon we shall draft a bill so that no man who does his duty, whether as a
soldier, militiaman or worker, need think that to do his duty means leaving
orphans.  This soon will be a law of our country.  More and more united,
the people will advance victoriously.  We shall not be intimated by any act
of savagery.  We shall always respond as the people did, when La Coubre
exploded.  (Castro spoke three hours thirty-one minutes--Ed.)